The award is meant to honour efforts and swims – successful or not, short or long – that (1) best embody the spirit of open water swimming, (2) are representative of the sense of adventure, tenacity and perseverance that open water swimmers are known for, and (3) have most positively influenced the world of open water swimming.
His nomination from the World Open Water Swimming Association reads,
“The richest open water swimming event in the world happens because of one man’s year-round drive and vision. Frank Flowers lassoes his vast network of business associates, government officials, tourism industry, and volunteers of all ages and walks of life to make the Cayman Islands the hot spot in the open water swimming world every June. A pioneer in open water swimming in the Cayman Islands, Flowers learned to swim at the age of 39 when running took its toll on his knees. 20 years ago, the Flowers Sea Swim was the result of this conversion from runner to swimmer. With his vision and relentless drive, swimmers from the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Australia, South Africa, Asia and North America gather along the course of the stunningly gorgeous Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman to compete in a race that offers over $100,000 in prizes. Forever generous, Flowers focuses his efforts on the needs and desires of the participants and the charities that he raises bucket loads of money for. The Flowers Family over-delivers on its promise for a memorable extravaganza with overwhelming hospitality for Olympians and over 800 swimmers. For his persuasive abilities to create an infrastructure and support for a signature event on the world’s calendar, for his generosity in donating the proceeds from the event to those in need, the year-round work of Frank Flowers is a worthy nominee for the 2012 WOWSA Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year..”
The nominations are meant to recognise and honour some of the best efforts and swims that the global open water swimming world has seen. Reducing the number of nominees to 15 was extraordinarily difficult due to the incredible efforts and exploits of thousands of women in the sport. Extreme swimmers, disabled swimmers, ice swimmers, marathon swimmers, professional swimmers, administrators, coaches, pilots, and swimmers from all walks of life thoroughly impressed their peers, the public and the media with their open water swimming exploits throughout 2012.
The 2009 recipient was the Cayman Islands’ Andrew Smiley who completed the RCP Tiburon Mile in San Francisco, California. The 2010 recipient was the 202-mile relay swim by the Ventura Deep Six that swam down the coast of California. The 2011 recipient was Tunisia’s Nejib Belhedi who swam the 1400K Swim Across Tunisia.
The 2012 nominees are (listed in alphabetical order of their first name):
1. Alina Warren (Scotland), Swimming Great Glen Way
2. Brenton Williams (South Africa), Deep Blue Flying
3. Dan Projansky (USA), Flying Down The Red River
4. Dutch Ladies First (Netherlands), English Channel Relay Record
5. Frank Flowers (Cayman Islands), Blossoming In The Cayman Islands
6. Haley Anderson (USA), Silver Lining At the Olympics
7. James Pittar (Australia), Shelley Beach Swim
8. Juan Ignacio Mart√≠nez Fern√°ndez-Villamil (Spain), The Heart of Navia
9. Lexie Kelly (USA), Open Water Swimming Archivist
10. Night Train Swimmers (USA/New Zealand), SF to SB Relay
11. Penny Palfrey (Australia), Marathon Adventurer
12. Philippe Coizon (France), Bering Strait Crossing
13. Saint Martin Island Long Distance Channel Swimming in Bangladesh
14. Stephen Redmond (Ireland), Tsugaru Channel Crossing
15. Trent Grimsey (Australia), English Channel Record
Online voting will take place here at WOWSA between November 1st and December 31st.
Flowers is the chief executive of the Flowers Group, a successful group of companies in cement block manufacture, bottled water, real estate and development and airport security markets in the Cayman Islands. He is the sponsor and organiser of the Flowers Sea Swim on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman and managed the Bridging The Cayman Islands event, a 67.26-mile world record attempt by Penny Palfrey from Little Cayman Island to Grand Cayman Island.
Photo: Frank Flowers is shown together with his co-host and daughter Dara Flowers-Burke.
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